Peppermint Chocolate Bark

Hope everyone had wonderful Christmas 🙂 Sorry I haven’t been active lately but you know with the holidays life gets pretty hectic…especially if you wait to do your shopping until the very last second…

And the day before Christmas Eve I was on a mission. I had my game plan on: list of all the gifts I need to get, what stores I need to go, in what order and what section to find everything. There was no time to be looking at other things, I had to get this done..and fast. I was storming through the stores, pushing everyone out of my way and within an hour and a half I had gotten everything I needed 🙂 The only thing left was wrapping and since I’m the worst gift wrapper ever that task was transferred over to Chris 🙂 Christmas itself was a lazy day where we didn’t do much of anything. We went to Ihop for breakfast and then watched Xmas movies and played video games, very relaxing! We decided to make mostly Bulgarian food (things that are quick and easy) so I didn’t have to deal with a turkey or a ham! As far as gifts go, I am definitely a lucky girl and got everything I wanted! Chris and I decided together on the big things (I got a new Artisan Kitchen Aid Mixer-love it!) and a Wii U and he got a new scanner/printer he wanted for work. Then on Xmas we exchanged some smaller gifts. I got him an ahmazing fragrance by Yve Saint Laurent and he got me an ice cream maker (yay!), books by one of my fav authors Mary Balough, magnifying mirror, cute notepad for recipes and chocolates 🙂 My dad and my sister got me a great workout outfit which I love and a new griddle! For my dad I got crafty and created a family album. He always wanted one but didn’t have the time to make it. It was a lot of work especially since I don’t have a crafty bone in my body, but it turned out awesome and he absolutely loved it! Sometime it’s the simple things 🙂 We also got him a crockpot (I would die for mine so I had to spread the joy lol!) and a giftset from his favorite brand of whisky. For my sister we got a Victoria’s Secret matching hoodie and bottoms, Ailen a perfume she wanted, and 2 books she chose a few days ago. She is as happy little girl:) And today I received yet another gift, a package from my mother-in-law and nana-in-law- a family cookbook full of recipes that I’m soo excited to try 🙂 Thank you soo much I love it!

So enough of my ramblings, today I am sharing a quick and easy fun treat that requires 5 mins of your time, 2 ingredients and will delight everyone 🙂

Bark.

That word always makes me laugh…

bark

So chocolate bark. Do you know how easy it is to make? Like seriously, super easy.

This is not so much of a recipe, but a method. You can get creative and choose whatever topping you want. Oreos, m&ms, nuts, dried fruit, chopped PB cups… Use dark chocolate, white, semi-sweet… the possibilities are endless!

I decided to make something festive so I used a variety of crushed candy canes 🙂

Stars: 5

Level: Easy

Comments: Super fricken tasty! Easy to make 🙂 Next time I will add a drop of mint extract 🙂

Negatives: Keep in the fridge! The second you take it out it starts to melt!

Will I make it again? Yes super easy and festive

Candy Cane Dark Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • crushed candy canes

Directions: Put a baking sheet in the freezer for 20mins. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 sec increments (stirring after each) until melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Let it cool to warm. Cover the cold baking sheet with wax paper and spread the chocolate in a thin layer. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and freeze for 20mins. Cut or break the bars into pieces and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tip: To crush candy canes, put in a ziplock bag and beat with a rolling pin until crushed into small pieces 🙂

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Mini Lava Cakes

I discovered these a while back on Pinterest and finally decided to give them a try last week.

lava cakes

I’ve made them twice since then because they are absolutely Dee-lish!

I love the ease of having a batch of these in my fridge/freezer so that way every time I want something sweet I can just heat them up and voila! Dessert is served 🙂

Although I have been eating a lot healthier then I used to and staying away from fast food, I still need my dessert every now and then, or every night..

And these definitely satisfy my sweet-tooth!

They take 5 mins to make and you only need a few basic/pantry ingredients so you have no excuses not to make them! 🙂

So Christmas is quickly approaching and I have a tons of shopping to do… I haven’t even started yet… Sigh… So I better stop procrastinating and get to it!

In the next few days I will be posting a few cookie recipes that are the perfect gifts for friends and family! I’m making cute cookie treat bags and bringing them to work so hopefully everyone will love them 🙂

Stars: 5

Level: Easy

Comments: I love lava cakes! These are very easy to make! Great microwaved too so next time I will try to freeze a batch and heat them up as I need them. Make sure not to overbake them!

Negatives: Too addictive! 🙂

Will I make these again? Yes I’ve made them a couple of time!

Mini Lava Cakes

Makes 24 mini cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp AP flour
  • vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 400F.

In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter and chocolate chips. Turn the heat off and let cool for 3mins. Stir in the eggs and yolks incorporating after each addition. Stir in the powdered sugar and flour. Spray a mini cupcake pan with cooking spray and spoon batter evenly among the cups. Bake for 4-7mins or until the edges are cooked but the center is still gooey. Carefully remove the cakes from the pan and serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle.

Source: Lauren’s Latest

Lighter Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Cinnamon roll.

cinnamon rolls

For a novice baker homemade cinnamon rolls could seem intimidating and quite daunting and really not worth going through all the trouble when you could buy a can of Cinnabon at the store.

That’s exactly how I felt until last year.

And then one day last winter I decided to take on the challenge and make Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls.

My life changed…

and I never bought store-bought cinnamon rolls again.

Ree’s cinnamon rolls are indulgent, sweet and beyond heavenly, but I always felt extremely guilty after I had 1.

So here’s a lightened up version!

It still tastes sweet, cinnamony and fabulous but with fewer calories! 🙂

Here’s how 🙂

cinnamon rolls 2cinnamon rolls 3cinnamon rolls 4

Lighter Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Makes about 25 rolls

For the rolls:

  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast, 0.25 oz pack
  • 4 cups(+1/2cup extra) AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp melted light butter
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • lots of cinnamon

Directions: In a saucepan combine the milk, oil and sugar. Heat over medium heat until just under a boil. Set aside and let it cool until lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast and let it sit for 1min. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hr. After 1 hr stir in the baking powder, baking soda,salt and remaining 1/2 cup flour. Chill for at least 1hr before use. *At this point I divided the dough and half and stored 1/2 of it in the freezer to use for another time! 🙂 You of course can use all of it at once!

Once the dough has been chilled for at least 1hr and it’s easier to work with, roll the dough into a large rectangle about 30in by 10in until. It should be very thin! Brush (or spoon) the melted butter all over the dough, then sprinkle a generous layer of cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar. Starting with the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Roll it as tightly as you can. Put a cutting board underneath the roll and slice the roll into 3/4 to 1in thick slices. Transfer the sliced rolls into cooking spray sprayed baking dishes (do not overcrowd the pans) and cover with a towel. Let rise, covered, for 20 mins. Bake in 375F preheat oven for 15-18 mins or until golden brown. While the rolls are baking make the icing.

Cream Cheese Glaze:

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3+ cups powdered sugar
  • milk, if needed

Directions: Beat the cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy about 3mins. Beat in the vanilla. Slowly 1/2 cup at a time start adding the powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved. If frosting is too thick add 1 tsp at a time of milk to thin out. The frosting should be somewhat thick but spreadable.

Once the cinnamon rolls are baked, pour the glaze on top right away 🙂

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

cinnamon rolls

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